My guideline for when to start planning hydration on a run used to be eight miles/90 minutes, but now that I’m slower I’ve moved it down to seven. For my first marathon I used Gatorade, for the second water and gels, and finally water plus dates for the New York Marathon, which worked best of all. Huge advantage: not having to clean sports drink out of my CamelBak reservoir… But I’ve been doing so well with exercising in a fasting state that I’m exploring electrolytes without calories.
Now that I’ve been doing my “eating window” (start eating at noon or later, stop around 8 or 9) for years, my body is very well-adapted to it and, subjectively at least, my blood sugar levels feel rock-solid. I’ve followed a normal long run (5-6 miles) with several hours of biking and hiking before eating anything, and felt totally fine (way better than in the old days when I’d eat breakfast first, fuel after a long run, and still be wiped out for the rest of the day). Jeff Galloway’s Marathon! is full of “eat a PowerBar to raise your blood sugar” (literally, he recommends keeping levels high by eating every 30-60 minutes all day) but that wouldn’t be good for me. This article confirms that it can be good to train while fasting, but recommends fueling for the longest training runs. I have races scheduled starting in week 12, so probably I’ll add dates back in to the 16-mile long run in weeks 10 and 11 if I don’t experience any problems until then. I do worry about losing electrolytes through sweating, and I want to be mindful of my one hard-working kidney! My local running store carries SaltStick products so I got the caps (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin D). I took one capsule an hour into my 7-mile run and felt fine. I’ll plan on one every hour of running, but I also stuck a gel in my pack just in case I end up bonking as the runs get longer.
This week took me to #10 in Easthampton on Citystrides (16.76%). I mostly covered the industrial area (found the Topatoco building) and some suburban streets – nothing spectacular but fun as always. I’m definitely at the upper edge of a pace that will let me finish Hartford in under 6 hours (13:44 max!), so it may be tougher to keep running marathons as I slow further with age. Comparing to week 3 of training in previous attempts, I’m around 2 minutes per mile slower than 2004, 1.5 minutes slower than 2015, and 1 minute slower than 2018. An extra reason to enjoy each one I get to do. I see the Walt Disney World Marathon is a 7-hour course… and here’s an old list of “Time Friendly Marathons,” so there must be others. Old Colony Marathon is listed, in Springfield – aha, it’s now in Westfield but it’s 14 laps, no thank you!
|Date (temp/humidity)||Distance||Avg pace/fastest split||Time||HR (avg/highest)||Notes|
|Tue 7/6 (69°F/100%)||3.12||13:03/12:32||40:45||142/157|
|Thu 7/8 (66°F/99%)||4.07||12:06/11:21||49:13||138/167||Intervals|
|Fri 7/9 (66°F/100%)||3.23||12:54/12:24||41:39||145/187||Pouring!|
|Sun 7/11 (64°F/95%)||7.04||13:48/13:05||1:37:09||136/169|
|Totals||17.46 miles||3.8 hours||Weight avg 116.7, resting heart 57|